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Little Gay Billy's BIG LGBT Newsapalooza!

I'm here, I'm queer, gimme a beer and I'll bend yer ear:

Epic FAIL in Houston An attempt to get enough signatures to repeal the city's non-discrimination law did not go as planned. Awwwww…too bad, so sad.  

Kossack rserven, who writes excellent posts on transgender news and issues, had to take a break while pulling up stakes and moving. Break's over---welcome back!

God loves Florida's gays:

Graphic announcing three consecutive judicial wins in Florida.  July/August 2014
The other two counties were Monroe and Miami-Dade. The usual caveat applies: ruling stayed pending appeal. Meanwhile all eyes are the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today as marriage arguments are made that will affect cases in Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio.

Meanwhile, Kossack librarisingnsf points to an analysis by Mark J. Stern at Slate for why the anti-marriage-equality crowd sounds increasingly ridiculous:  

National Organization for Marriage head Maggie Gallagher holds rally in West Virginia. 28 people attended.
This is the average size of
anti-gay protests these days.
[G]ay marriage opponents have backed themselves into the corner they’ve always dreaded. They can’t give up their quest now---but they’re barred from citing the explanations that they truly believe, deep down, to be correct. The result is the current tailspin of idiocy, a shifting argument with rootless standards roaming from rationale to rationale in a desperate attempt to find shelter from the storm of progress swirling around it. … Stripped of all logic and reason, the argument against gay marriage has been reduced to gibberish. Enjoy the babbling while it lasts.
I like following the babble at PFAW's Right Wing Watch. According to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the haters may have to move on to the next scary boogey monster on their list sooner rather than later. And this just in: looks like Utah's case will get there soonest. And awayyy we go.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in Uganda now that the Constitutional Court has struck down---on a technicality---the so-called "kill the gays" law that generated such a huge backlash. But one thing's for sure: the right-wing American god squad that did everything but take the roll call to get it passed are shoo-ins for the Very Bad People Hall of Shame.

Yup, you can still get fired in 29 states for being gay, and in 34 states for being transgender. However, thanks to President Obama's recent executive order, you can get fired on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by a businesses accepting federal funds in zero states.

Thanks for the beer.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Note: Thank you for all the birthday wishes yesterday.  I particularly enjoyed the Newt Gingrich Pez dispenser President Obama sent to me in the envelope marked "Return to Sender."  It's awesome and I hope you liked yours too, sir!

Seattle Hempfest logo
9 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til 2014's "closest, brightest" supermoon: 4
Days 'til Seattle Hempfest: 9
Amount of money destined for Maine that was lost when a Norwegian wind-energy company canceled an offshore wind farm project because our "pro-business" tea party governor chased them off for political reasons: $2.5 billion
Percent chance that England is getting that money now: 100%
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Percent chance that Democrats have declared war on white people: 100%
(Source: Some Alabama congressman trolling his district for the white racist vote)
Guess what number I'm thinking of right now.  Wrong---it's pi to the 10 millionth digit


Mid-week Rapture Index: 187 (including 4 volcanoes and 1 Rapture spoiler alert for 5 bucks).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.


Puppy Pic of the Day: Happy Assistance Dog Week!


CHEERS to Super Tuesday!  Primaries yesterday in a handful of states, and here are the results I've chosen to spoon-feed you so I can control the narrative:

John Conyers (D-MI). (PHOTO: Bill Hughes)
John Conyers aces
another primary.
• In Michigan's 14th District, there was a three-way race to be the successor to Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, who is moving on to be the successor to Senator Carl Levin.  And the winner is too close to call at this point.  But one thing we do know: in the 13th District, Dem stalwart John Conyers breezed to victory with 74% of the vote.

In Michigan's 11th District, it'll be Democrat Bobby McKenzie vs. Republican David Trott.    

• In Kansas, Senator Pat Roberts held off a kinda-sorta charge from tea party challenger Milton Wolf.  Ahem, excuse me while I pull out my bullhorn to shout an over-the-top generalization that will piss off the tea party: THIS PROVES THE TEA PARTY IS DEAD!!!  (Heh.  Great fun.)

• In Washington's 4th District, eight Republicans and two Democrats duked it out in a "top-two" primary for the chance to fill departing Rep. Doc Hastings' GOP shoes.  Two Republicans won: one with crazy ideas who wants to drag us back to the dark ages, and one with crazy ideas who wants to drag us back to the dark ages but has a slightly different haircut.

But if you want to be a squeaky wheel and demand all the results, you can't do better than the Daily Kos Elections team, who will have more updates shortly.  Congrats to the winners.  Warning to all babies in the greater Michigan, Kansas and Washington areas: prepare to get kissed by grownups you don’t know with coffee breath you can't stand.  If you survive that, life's a breeze.

CHEERS to the "state dinner for an entire continent."  As part of the groundbreaking U.S.-Africa Summit, last night President Obama invited nearly 50 African leaders over to the White House for dinner.  To prevent an outbreak of birthers going into catatonic shock, Fox News aired a brief report saying that Obama spent a quiet evening alone, and distracted them for three hours with the gentle, soothing sounds of impeachment scenarios.  Then Sean Hannity sent them off to bed with their jammies and pitchforks.  Crisis averted.

CHEERS to home away from home.  Today we'll get (hopefully good) news from space…the final frontier:

Comet 67P/C-G, as seen by the Rosetta spacecraft, which made contact with it on August 6, 2014.
Why hello there, little fella!
After a decade-long quest spanning six billion kilometres (3.75 billion miles), a European probe will come face to face Wednesday with a comet, one of the Solar System's enigmatic wanderers. … To get there, Rosetta has had to make four flybys of Mars and Earth, using their gravitational force as a slingshot to build up speed, and then entering a 31-month hibernation as light from the distant Sun became too weak for its solar panels.
I just hope the comet doesn’t have a stand-your-ground law.  Could be a real quick visit.

Damage from the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.  August, 1945.
Hell is war. And vice versa.
JEERS to smoking guns that really were mushroom clouds.  In all the history and social studies classes I took in school, World War II always seemed to end when the Germans surrendered.  It was like we studied all the details up until May of 1945, and then we were given a quick, "Oh, and then we dropped a couple bombs on Japan and our troops came home to ticker tape parades."  Well, the bomb that fell on Hiroshima 69 years ago today vaporized 140,000 people.  Some say it was the right thing to do because it shortened the war and reduced allied casualties.  Others say it wasn't necessary because Japan was on the verge of collapse and peace talks were quietly underway.  But if there was a bright side---and this is perhaps the dimmest bright side I can think of---it was that it demonstrated, in the starkest, most jaw-dropping terms, the fearsome effects of nuclear weapons.  May they forever remain locked away in the silos and out of the hands of terrorists who would think nothing of using one.  And, yes, I'll even say the magic word: please.

HA HA! to the latest episode of GOP Clown Theatre.  I don’t think the Emmy-winningest screenwriter in the world could've come up with a sitcom this zany.  As Rep. Steve King (R-IA) does his best Archie Bunker routine to a pair of DREAMers, watch Senator and barbershop quartet reject Rand Paul (R-KY) choke on his hamburger before beating a hasty retreat like a vampire at dawn.  Literally, he's gone in five seconds:

Oh, and Rand?  The 70s called.  They'd like their wallpaper back.

CHEERS to great moments in human dampness.  On August 6, 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first American woman to swim the English Channel.  It took her 14½ hours.  Because she kept stopping to check her makeup!  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!  This misogynist message brought to you by the National Consortium of Republican-Controlled State Legislatures, whose members just snorted milk out their noses.


Five years ago in C&J: August 6, 2009

JEERS to headlines that don’t match actual events.  The header in the business section of yesterday's Portland Press Herald exclaimed: "Bank of America agrees to big fine on bonus issue."  The "big" fine against the bank is $33 million for misleading investors...which is like extracting a drop of water from Lake Erie.  Adding insult to injury, BoA doesn’t have to admit any wrongdoing, even though they were caught doing wrong in writing.  But if you or I accidentally take a ball-point pen from a Bank of America lobby, we get locked up for six months.  Ain't it grand to be too big to jail.


And just one more…

CHEERS to a happy twist of pate.  All the Ebola-virus news is pretty freaky, so here's a good medical news story.  Remember those conjoined-at-the-head twin brothers, Carl and Clarence, who had high-risk separation surgery and survived?  That was ten years ago, and while it's not all rosy, they're both doing amazingly well:

Clarence and Carl Aguirre, conjoined twins who were successfully separated on August 4, 2004.
"I am extremely proud of having been a part of this. I'm a little disappointed with some of the outcome but, clearly, to see how these kids have survived and are for the most part thriving, is really wonderful," [said Dr. Robert Marion, the boys' pediatrician]. […]

Carl uses a wheelchair and leg braces, and there's hope he'll eventually be able to walk on his own, though Goodrich doubts there will be a full recovery.  As for speech, his mother said he can utter just a word or two at a time, such as "bye" and "thank you." He spends the school day in classes for kids with multiple disabilities and gets occupational, physical and speech therapy.

She said Clarence, who can be difficult to understand when he speaks, also gets some special instruction in communication. But unlike Carl, he is an attention-seeking preteen who leaps up to high-five visitors and is quick to show them his favorite video games. [...]

Clarence shows tenderness toward his quiet twin, and Arlene Aguirre said, "He feels like he's the big brother. He likes to read to Carl, and he's very patient."

They still wear helmets, but once they're fully-grown, doctors will patch the top of their heads.  Really remarkable.  The moral of the story (yeah, I'm going for the easy layup here): two heads are better than one.

Have a nice Wednesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


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Medics Sue Bill in Portland Maine For Biting Them While Drunk


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